Statewide – Last year in North Dakota, over 80 percent of all reported motorcycle crashes resulted in injury or death. Of the 12 motorcycle fatalities in 2016, 83 percent were not wearing a helmet. With warmer weather now upon us, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) reminds motorists and motorcyclists to follow simple safety tips to save lives.
Tips for motorists to prevent a crash with a motorcyclist:
- Look twice for motorcycles. Check all mirrors and blind spots when entering an intersection, changing lanes, passing or turning left.
- Stay back. Motorcycles can stop more quickly than a vehicle.
- Do not share the lane. Motorcycles have the same right-of-way as any other vehicle, including the full lane width.
- Actively watch for motorcycles that may be hidden.
Motorcyclists can increase their safety on the roads by:
- Wearing a DOT-compliant helmet and full protective gear. Compliant helmets are labeled with the DOT logo.
- Wearing brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
- Taking a training course.
- Obeying all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
- Using hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
- Never riding distracted or impaired.
“Motorcycles can be hard to see, so we encourage drivers to be extra vigilant and to always check their mirrors and blind spots,” said Karin Mongeon, NDDOT Safety Division Director. “It’s equally important to remind motorcycle riders to do everything they can to make themselves visible, to follow the rules of the road and to wear full protective gear.”
The NDDOT encourages riders at any skill level to take a safety course. There are two courses available - one is designed for beginners or returning riders who need to refresh their skills and another for experienced, licensed riders that provides strategies to heighten awareness and skill levels.
Information on motorcycle safety courses can be found at www.ndmsp.com.